Despite the inconvenience of my cable provider, I managed to watch almost all of last night’s World Series game. I met my good friend Sweeny Murti and watched the San Francisco Giants do the impossible: Beat Cliff Lee in October. Granted, the Rangers defense was a mess, but that Giants offense was a legitimate force.
One thing that stood out:
The heart of the Giants order — 3, 4 and 5 — was not with the team on opening day. Buster Posey was called up from Triple-A on May 29. That same day Pat Burrell was signed after his DFA from Tampa. Cody Ross was claimed off waivers from Florida on August 23. The team’s No. 2 hitter, Freddy Sanchez, opened the year on the disabled list and wasn’t activated until May.
This team evolved. A lot.
All told, the Giants had three position players in last night’s lineup who were also in their Opening Day lineup. One of those, Juan Uribe, was playing a different position on Opening Day. Another, Edgar Renteria, went from the No. 2 hitter in April to the No. 8 hitter in October.
The Yankees did some of that this season. When Nick Johnson landed on the Nick Johnson List, the Yankees found top-of-the-order hitters in Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. When Andy Pettitte went down in the second half, Ivan Nova was a solid replacement. The deadline additions of Kerry Wood and Lance Berkman became significant parts of the roster through the postseason.
There’s a lot to be said for building a roster in the winter — and that’s obviously the focus right now — but there’s also a lot to be said for being able to adjust when some of those winter plans inevitably go wrong. That’s the one thing that most struck me about last night’s game.
Associated Press photo